December 22, 2008

Cockroach Christmas.

Our favorite insect, blogging cockroach, skittered through the Red Clock Café a few minutes ago:
hi professor
sorry i haven t been around much
tommy s computer was broken
tommy is the boy whose computer i use
anyway computer trouble was only for starters
grand mere showed up from france
you know mom here at the house is french
well the very formidable grand mere blew in
complaining about everything americain
but grand mere took a spill in this fancy
cambridge food store that tries its best
so much to be french that julia child used
to shop there anyway grand mere is in hospital
and won t be out until christmas quel dommage

then we ve had snow snow snow and 2 out of 3
of tommy s christmas concerts were cancelled
that make money for his school quel dommage
which is actually a choir school where they sing
in latin if you want for weddings and funerals
quis a misericordia

well this is the first year everybody didn t
go to france for christmas er noel
so i was looking forward to grand mere s
french christmas cooking because if she s
anything like mom she s real sloppy
which is the first thing i look for in a cook

usually it s real quiet here during christmas
and i have a chance to meditate
on my having the transmigrated soul
of a composer and music professor
which is a little odd to be able to
remember but maybe i didn t get my
dose of the soup of forgetfulness
which proves that the cosmic cook
was probably a little too neat in my case

i have to admit that being a cockroach near harvard u
is pretty good comeuppance for a reborn
asshole prof at a 3rd rate state u
maybe it was 2nd rate but don t make me
a worm next time for bragging
you know i only wanted to get by last time
and what better way than cooking up
academic crap music that was only trendy
at 3rd rate state u s where the deans thought
they were being so avant garde
while they really were wearing no clothes
and no one would tell them
but at least i could hit on grad students
with nice legs
they had to have nice legs
and we got to the no clothes part asap
but now look at me
i ve got lots of legs these days

anyway i use this time to contemplate
how i got here and have resolved to be
a better sentient being if even an insect this time
because i now have an inkling of how
you can blow it if you re a jerk or even
if you re wasting your talents on useless crap
which i now think is a sure path to
invertebratedom in the next life

but this is all so hard to figure out and
it doesn t help that i only have 960 brain cells
although you would be surprised that
consciousness has less to do with the
hardware than you might imagine
so think about that the next time
you squash a cockroach
merry christmas

IN THE COMMENTS: Sir Archy -- our "Ghost of a Gentleman dead these 260 Years and more" -- stops by, with a response on the subject of reincarnation:
I may tell you that upon my Death I had expect'd to be sent to Heaven, or, Hell, or, perhaps, to have been Transmigrat'd into some other sentient Being, as the Hindoos teach and you have experienc'd. You may imagine my Mortification at finding myself remaining a disembody'd Spirit all these Years. I should have been happy even to have been plac'd in the Body of a miserable Cockroach, such as yourself. I endeavour'd, as much as any Sinner, to live a virtuous Life, and have thus always regarded my disembody'd Existence a most unfair Sentence; but, our Situations shew how hard 'tis to comprehend the Will of GOD, or, as some would have it, the Workings of the Universe. In this, the teachings of my Calvinistick Religion would seem to be vindicated; yet, as a Ghost, I may tell you that the Doctrines of neither Geneva, nor, Rome, nor, Benares, nor even, Lahsa are adequate to the Matter....
But this post is already long, so I must send you inside to read the rest.

11 comments:

Michael said...

What in the world is it that Ann thinks about this cockroach character that is so interesting or even remotely creative?

It makes me think Ann is not really that bright.

Sir Archy said...

To Mr. Cockroach.

Sir,

As the Ghost of a Gentleman dead these 260 Years and more, I may tell you that upon my Death I had expect'd to be sent to Heaven, or, Hell, or, perhaps, to have been Transmigrat'd into some other sentient Being, as the Hindoos teach and you have experienc'd.  You may imagine my Mortification at finding myself remaining a disembody'd Spirit all these Years. I should have been happy even to have been plac'd in the Body of a miserable Cockroach, such as yourself. I endeavour'd, as much as any Sinner, to live a virtuous Life, and have thus always regarded my disembody'd Existence a most unfair Sentence; but, our Situations shew how hard 'tis to comprehend the Will of GOD, or, as some would have it, the Workings of the Universe. In this, the teachings of my Calvinistick Religion would seem to be vindicated; yet, as a Ghost, I may tell you that the Doctrines of neither Geneva, nor, Rome, nor, Benares, nor even, Lahsa are adequate to the Matter.

Mr. Addison, writing in the 343rd Number of his Spectator, tells us of Will Honeycomb's Friend, one Jack Freelove, who, upon cooling his Heels in a Lady's Parlour, together with her Monkey chain'd in one of her Windows, found paper & pen to write in the Voice of her Pet, the following, viz.:—

    'Madam,

    'Not having the Gift of Speech, I have a long time waited
    'in vain for an Opportunity of making myself known to you; and
    'having at present the Conveniences of Pen, Ink, and Paper by
    'me, I gladly take the occasion of giving you my History in
    'Writing, which I could not do by word of Mouth. You must
    'know, Madam, that about a thousand Years ago I was an
    'Indian Brachman, and versed in all those mysterious Secrets
    'which your European Philosopher, call'd Pythagoras, is said
    'to have learn'd from our Fraternity. I had so ingratiated
    'my self by my great Skill in the occult Sciences with a Dæmon
    'whom I used to converse with, that he promised to grant me
    'whatever I should ask of him. I desired that my Soul might
    'never pass into the Body of a brute Creature; but this he
    'told me was not in his Power to grant me. I then begg'd
    'that into whatever Creature I should chance to Transmigrate,
    'I might still retain my Memory, and be conscious that I was
    'the same Person who lived in different Animals. This he
    'told me was within his Power, and accordingly promised on
    'the word of a Dæmon that he would grant me what I desired.
    'From that time forth I lived so very unblameably, that I was
    'made President of a College of Brachmans, an Office which I
    'discharged with great Integrity till the day of my Death.

    'I was then shuffled into another Human Body, and acted
    'my Part so very well in it, that I became first Minister to a
    'Prince who reigned upon the Banks of the Ganges. I here
    'lived in great Honour for several Years, but by degrees lost
    'all the Innocence of the Brachman, being obliged to rifle and
    'oppress the People to enrich my Sovereign; 'till at length I
    'became so odious that my Master, to recover his Credit with
    'his Subjects, shot me thro' the Heart with an Arrow, as I was
    'one day addressing my self to him at the Head of his Army.

    'Upon my next remove I found my self in the Woods, under
    'the shape of a Jack-call, and soon listed my self in the Service
    'of a Lion. I used to yelp near his Den about midnight, which
    'was his time of rouzing and seeking after his Prey. He always
    'followed me in the Rear, and when I had run down a fat
    'Buck, a wild Goat, or an Hare, after he had feasted very
    'plentifully upon it himself, would now and then throw me a
    'Bone that was but half pick'd for my Encouragement; but
    'upon my Being unsuccessful in two or three Chaces, he gave
    'me such a confounded Gripe in his Anger, that I died of it.

    'In my next Transmigration I was again see upon two Legs,
    'and became an Indian Tax-gatherer; but having been guilty
    'of great Extravagances, and being marry'd to an expensive
    'Jade of a Wife, I ran so cursedly in debt, that I durst not
    'shew my Head. I could no sooner step out of my House,
    'but I was arrested by some Body or other that lay in wait
    'for me. As I ventur'd abroad one Night in the Dusk of the
    'Evening, I was taken up and hurry'd into a Dungeon, where
    'I died a few Months after.

    'My Soul then enter'd into a Flying-Fish, and in that State
    'led a most melancholy Life for the space of six Years.
    'Several Fishes of Prey pursued me when I was in the Water,
    'and if I betook my self to my Wings, it was ten to one but I
    'had a flock of Birds aiming at me. As I was one day flying
    'amidst a fleet of English Ships, I observed a huge Sea-Gull
    'whetting his Bill and hovering just over my Head: Upon my
    'dipping into the Water to avoid him, I fell into the Mouth
    'of a monstrous Shark that swallow'd me down in an Instant.

    'I was some Years afterwards, to my great surprize, an
    'eminent Banker in Lombard-street; and remembering how I
    'had formerly suffered for want of Money, became so very
    'sordid and avaritious, that the whole Town cried shame of
    'me. I was a miserable little old Fellow to look upon, for I
    'had in a manner starved my self, and was nothing but Skin
    'and Bone when I died.

    'I was afterwards very much troubled and amazed to find my
    'self dwindled into an Emmet. I was heartily concerned
    'to make so insignificant a Figure, and did not know but some
    'time or other I might be reduced to a Mite if I did not mend my
    'Manners. I therefore applied my self with great diligence to
    'the Offices that were allotted me, and was generally look'd
    'upon as the notablest Ant in the whole Molehill. I was at
    'last picked up, as I was groaning under a Burthen, by an
    'unlucky Cock-Sparrow that lived in the Neighbourhood, and
    'had before made great depredations upon our Commonwealth.

    'I then better'd my Condition a little, and lived a whole
    'Summer in the Shape of a Bee; but being tired with the
    'painful and penurious Life I had undergone in my two last
    'Transmigrations, I fell into the other Extream, and turned
    'Drone. As I one day headed a Party to plunder an Hive, we
    'were received so warmly by the Swarm which defended it,
    'that we were most of us left dead upon the Spot.

    'I might tell you of many other Transmigrations which I
    'went thro': how I was a Town-Rake, and afterwards did
    'Penance in a Bay Gelding for ten Years; as also how I was a
    'Taylor, a Shrimp, and a Tom-tit. In the last of these my
    'Shapes I was shot in the Christmas Holidays by a young
    'Jack-a-napes, who would needs try his new Gun upon me.
    'But I shall pass over these and other several Stages of Life,
    'to remind you of the young Beau who made love to you about
    'Six Years since. You may remember, Madam, how he mask'd,
    'and danc'd, and sung, and play'd a thousand Tricks to gain
    'you; and how he was at last carry'd off by a Cold that he got
    'under your Window one Night in a Serenade. I was that
    'unfortunate young Fellow, whom you were then so cruel to.
    'Not long after my shifting that unlucky Body, I found myself
    'upon a Hill in Æthiopia, where I lived in my present Grotesque
    'Shape, till I was caught by a Servant of the English Factory,
    'and sent over into Great Britain: I need not inform you how
    'I came into your Hands. You see, Madam, this is not the
    'first time that you have had me in a Chain: I am, however,
    'very happy in this my Captivity, as you often bestow on me
    'those Kisses and Caresses which I would have given the
    'World for, when I was a Man. I hope this Discovery of my
    'Person will not tend to my Disadvantage, but that you will
    'still continue your accustom'd Favours to,

            'Your most Devoted
                 'Humble Servant
                     'Pugg.'


The Lady soon after coming into the Parlour, and seeing her Monkey look upon the Paper with great Earnestness, took it up, and, to this Day is in some Doubt whether it were written by Jack or the Monkey.

So, Sir, you may see that even whilst I was alive, we were not ignorant of the most esoterick Branches of Spiritual Philosophy, so much in Vogue in the Modern Age.

Even tho' you may have only 960 Brain Cells, and I no corporeal Existence at all, I remain fully conscious that I am,

Sir,

Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Michael said...

Sir Suck-Ass: Good lord...who's the pitcher?

EDH said...

Wow, it seems like Cockroaches can really agitate some people, here at Althouse and elsewhere.

Must we be so utilitarian that we ask what'd they ever do for us?

Ron said...

A Sir Archy vs. Blogging Cockroach stand-off! Here I thought I'd have to wait to see the Pirates of The Caribbean ride of this one! Man, Sullivan better not wander over here -- just the commenters alone will turn him into Osso Bucco!

EDH said...

Pardon me, what did you say you did with those Cock-a-roaches?

chickenlittle said...

No more pitchers for Michael--he's cut off.

bearbee said...

Blogging C's 960 brain cells surely trumps the quality as well as number of brain cells of a certain reader posting on this thread.

A very sloppy Christmas to you Roach.

SteveR said...

Wow Michael, no sense of humor, dude.

Paco Wové said...

In LuckyOldMichael's case, it's not so much that he has no sense of humor; it's more that he's just dumb as a post. Pissed at the world and very, very stupid.

onparkstreet said...

I *adore* blogging cockroach and Sir Archy! Someone's having fun with this whole internets thing, thank goodness....

MD